Dubuque Fire Department Awarded International Accredited Status

The Dubuque Fire Department has received Accredited Agency status with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) for meeting the criteria established through the CFAI’s voluntary self-assessment and accreditation program. The announcement follows a thorough, five-year process including document review and onsite assessment.

The Dubuque Fire Department is now one of fewer than 300 fire departments in the world and just five other departments in Iowa to be accredited. This accreditation is a voluntary process and provides an agency/department with an improvement model to assess their service delivery and performance internally and then works with a team of peers from other agencies to evaluate their completed self-assessment. It shows the community that the Dubuque Fire Department continually self-assesses, looks for opportunities for improvement, and is transparent and accountable through third-party verification and validation.

“This achievement of Accredited Agency status demonstrates the commitment of the department and city organization to provide the highest quality of service to our community,” said Dubuque Fire Chief Rick Steines. “It’s not what you get, it’s what you become. You don’t get accredited, you become accredited, and as an accredited agency you build a culture of improvement.”

Steines said the department has been able to use the accreditation process as a proactive way to plan for the future of the department and identify areas where the department can improve on the quality of the services provided. He said the creation of a strategic plan, standards of cover, and updates to procedures have enhanced the department’s ability to better protect, assist, and educate the community and with pride, skill, and compassion.

“This is the culmination of over five years of work in preparation for this day.  I want to especially recognize the work of Fire Chief Rick Steines, Lead Accreditation Manager Assistant Chief Kevin Esser, and former Accreditation Manager and current Assistant Accreditation Manager Assistant Chief Josh Knepper,” said City Manager Mike Van Milligen.  “We are very proud of our fire department and the people who work in the department protecting property and lives every day.”

“This was never more apparent and appreciated than during the COVID-19 pandemic.  There is no working from home for our brave firefighters and medical officers,” added Van Milligen.  “As people were isolating, social distancing, and masking up, these were the people who were there when tragedy struck.  At the same time, many of them were dealing with the traumas of this pandemic in their personal lives.  We owe all of them a deep debt of gratitude that they chose public service as a career and that they do their work so well and with such compassion.”

CFAI is dedicated to assisting the fire and emergency service agencies throughout the world in achieving excellence through self-assessment and accreditation in order to provide continuous quality improvement and the enhancement of service delivery to their communities.  For more information, visit https://www.cpse.org/accreditation/.

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